Keeping things simple is often difficult. When creating a physical product or software solution, there are hundreds of decisions and trade offs that impact time, budget, and end product.
We’ve put together a straight forward game plan for moving from idea to reality with speed and confidence. Success isn’t a guarantee, but it frames the process around well defined milestones. Our approach doesn’t claim that ANYTHING is possible in a month. Instead, the focus is launching something of value, start to finish, in a month.
We’re broken it down into 4 weeks:
- Week 1. Research + Refine the Idea
- Week 2. Plan your Approach
- Week 3. Build Prototype + Audience
- Week 4. Launch and Refine
Week 1. Research and Settle on an Idea
A solid idea solves an actual problem, provides unique value to customers, and aligns with the customers interests. Identifying problems involves a level of empathy with your ideal customers. Providing unique value to the customer requires research around existing tools and products. The most compelling offerings stand out from the competition.
What is a problem that you or those close to you have identified?
Week 2. Plan your Approach
Assess the constraints you’re working within. Common project constraints include desired features, time, and budget.
It’s also worth considering your endgame for the project. What are you trying to accomplish? Your approach to merely solving your own problem should vary greatly from someone seeking to redefine a category.
What is a solid first step in attempting to solve the problem?
Week 3. Build Product + Audience
By Week 3, it’s time to get started. Many find it surprising that you would get started on building half way through the month, but this demonstrates the importance of planning. Building the wrong thing and adjusting is more costly than starting ‘late’ on the right path.
It’s important to remember that promoting shouldn’t wait until the product is complete. You can build your audience before or during the creating of your actual product. Early stage customers and supporters are often your greatest advocates and appreciate being involved in the early stages.
Week 4. Launch
Done is better than perfect.
If people aren’t looking at it by Week 4, you’re behind the ball. It’s important that at least a few people are able to weigh in on the process. You don’t have to share on social or drop $1,000 on Facebook ads, but challenge yourself to email a link to 3 friends.
Of course it’s not 100% complete, but you’re going to learn more than you realize by putting it in the hands of prospective customers.
What do customers think of your product?
Your idea is closer than you realize to becoming reality. Thoughtful, consistent effort can have you validating your idea and gaining momentum in a relatively short amount of time.
Start somewhere. Start today.
For the month of November, we’re inviting startups and entreprenuers to take the journey with us. While many are participating in conjunction with the Product Hunt Hackathon, the insight here isn’t limited to one event.
If you haven’t already done so, register for the Product Hunt Hackathon and hold yourself accountable with thousands of other entreprenuers and dreamers around the world.
If you’re ready to go but don’t know where to start, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org